Hiroshima, Japan, May 20 (EFE).- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy arrived Saturday in the western Japanese city of Hiroshima to meet with the leaders of the G7 and other guest countries to call for continued support for his country’s fight against Russian invading forces.
Zelenskyy arrived at Hiroshima airport on a French government plane from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia where he had addressed Arab League leaders, and was due to attend G7 sessions and hold bilateral meetings with several of the leaders attending the summit, including Indian prime minister Narendra Modi.
The meeting was the first time Ukraine’s president has met with Modi since Russia invaded in February last year.
In a post on Twitter, Modi said he had “conveyed our clear support for dialogue and diplomacy to find a way forward” to Zelenskyy during their meeting.
“We will continue extending humanitarian assistance to the people of Ukraine,” Modi added.
Despite calls from Western nations for India to firmly oppose the invasion and distance itself from Russia, India has remained neutral.
While New Delhi has conveyed its concerns over the conflict to Moscow, it has tightened its historic relationship with its Russian ally, from which it continues to buy military hardware and large quantities of crude oil, bypassing international sanctions.
Last month, during the first official visit by a Ukrainian government delegate to India since the outbreak of the war, deputy foreign minister Emine Dzhaparova urged New Delhi to support Kyiv against Russia’s aggression and delivered a letter from Zelenskyy addressed to Modi requesting humanitarian assistance.
Modi also held meetings with several G7 leaders on Saturday, including German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron and Kishida.
Apart from the Indian prime minister, Zelenskyy met with the prime ministers of the UK, Rishi Sunak, and Italy, Giorgia Meloni, and with the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, in an intense round of face-to-face meetings that was also expected to include US president Joe Biden, among others.
Zelenskyy was initially scheduled to participate via video link on Sunday, but his visit forced the Russian war to the top of the summit’s agenda on a day that was expected to focus on the collective challenges posed by China.
His arrival in Hiroshima precipitated the release of the G7 leaders’ joint statement – a day ahead of schedule – in which they reaffirmed their “unwavering support for Ukraine for as long as it takes to bring a comprehensive, just and lasting peace.”
On Sunday, the Ukrainian president is due to deliver a speech from the Atomic Bomb Museum. EFE